Lobster boats at Frenchboro, Long Island, Maine.
Lobster boats at Frenchboro, Long Island, Maine.

Reluctant and inevitable, time comes when
A boat has reached the end, whether wood,
Fiberglass, or steel, most especially wood
Lobster boats, Downeast tradition hand-
Crafted at Maine boatyards; my agéd Mary
Grace
has seen her day, it’s time for her
Retirement, to go our separate ways.

Pitching Maine coastal waters are hard on
Boats, they weather like lobstermen who
Drive them, saltwater, ice, rain, pounding
Waves, continual attack on marine plywood
And the wooden frame, weekly repairs are
More total restoration, years of structural
Stress, long-term project for someone else.

Many lobster boats have water in the bilge,
Mary Grace pumps round the clock, leaking,
Seeping, oak keelson underwater, galvanized
Fittings rusted, her aging diesel needs overall,
Results of thirty-five years hard ocean labour
Taking tons of fish and lobsters from PEI to
Her permanent home, rocky coast of Maine.

Here at the marine railway, they are hauling
Mary Grace for good. We are both too old to
Lobster, weakened by ill health. She’ll dry out
Over winter, they’re talking about replacing
The deck, rewiring, hydraulics need refit. Yes,
Two of us are ready for dry land, well-earned
Retirement in needed peace and warmth.

If you have interest in a classic wood-hull
Boat, come inspect Mary Grace. Look past
Water damage and dry rot, as a restored
Head-turner tied up at Stonington dock.
I’m asking for cash money, fair boat for fair
Price, she’s seeking new life as weekend
Picnic boat wave cresting to Isle au Haut.

Downeast tradition, Maine boatyards specialize in designing
and building wood Lobster boats. See Boat Launch and
Rough Day on the ocean.

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